Library databases are not free sources. The information in the databases is well-organized, carefully selected, and in many cases, peer-reviewed. This gives you more control over your searching, allowing you to broaden or focus your search as necessary. Google instead searches the surface of the open web, making it difficult to find reliable quality information.
Database searching is different from Google searching. Below are some tips for searching databases.
When searching in databases you can use limits (normally on the left or right of your search results page, or in the advance search) to focus on specific format.
Some databases include links to the full text article (look for a pdf or html link). If there is no full text follow the link to automatically search other Library databases, or to request it through Inter-Library Loan.
For additional information on finding articles see the "Finding Articles" Guide. See below for some database searching techniques.
1. Think about your search strategy. This will save you time in the long run. Break your topic into concepts and keywords.
Example: If you are interested in "how washing hands before operating reduces infection," break that into concepts and think of different ways to express those concepts (synonyms, scientific names, etc.):
2. Use Database language to search.
Boolean logic (AND, OR, NOT) and other database search "language" can allow you to have more control over your search. See the table below for the most common "tricks" that work in most databases.
Most databases also have a help section to explain how to best search in that particular database. Look for that.